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California Literary ReviewMarch 2011 | California Literary Review California Literary Review

Archive for March, 2011

ROYAL DANISH BALLET: Video Chat with Nikolaj Hübbe and Live Stream Preview of 2011 U.S. Tour

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Geri
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Jeter

March 17th, 2011

One of the most anticipated events of the late spring dance season is the return of the Royal Danish Ballet for a short U.S. tour, including engagements in Orange County and Berkeley, Calif., Washington, D.C., and New York City.

Art Review: Blink! Light, Sound, and the Moving Image at the Denver Art Museum

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Holly
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Hunt

March 16th, 2011

A work such as Nam June Paik’s Electronic Fish of 1986, constructed from a 1948 wooden Philco television console converted into an aquarium, fitted with a soundtrack recorded on audiocassette playing on a vintage 1980s car stereo, and tuned to an analog TV signal, poses conservational challenges as daunting as any presented by a crumbling quattrocento fresco.

Book Review: From Splendor to Revolution: The Romanov Women, 1847-1928 by Julie P. Gelardi

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Ed
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Voves

March 15th, 2011

Following this betrayal, the Romanov dynasty was swept off the stage of history. Many of the family were arrested by the Bolsheviks and executed, some with a degree of cruelty and incompetence that beggars belief. Marie Feodorovna and Marie Pavlovna were evacuated to safety, but the lives of both women were blighted by the near extermination of the Romanov family.

Theater Review: Rude Mechs Performs The Method Gun

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Andi
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Stover

March 13th, 2011

The play documents “the search” for Stella Burden, a mysterious acting teacher from the 70s, who started an unnamed company, rehearsed A Streetcar Named Desire for many years (without the parts of Stella, Stanley, Blanche or Mitch) only to leave without word for South America. Her actors continued rehearsing the piece for several more years, applying “The Approach” (Stella Burden’s technique) hoping to perfect their performance.

Movie Review: Red Riding Hood

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Julia
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Rhodes

March 12th, 2011

Screenwriter David Johnson, whose one prior writing credit was the hilariously mind-boggling Orphan (2009), penned a script that’s as stilted as it is ridiculous. Characters are so superficial as to be entirely unbelievable, and modern dialogue just doesn’t fit the setting. Lines like “I must be God, because you’re the Devil!” are just plain trite—and sometimes baffling.

The Weekly Listicle: On Adapting The Classics

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Dan
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Fields

March 11th, 2011

With the arrival of Jane Eyre from Sin Nombre director Cary Fukunaga, we see another standard of the English-class bookshelf put to the screen. Mia Wasikowska, lately of Alice In Wonderland, headlines as the eponymous Jane, in a very Gothic-looking version of Charlotte Brontë’s best known novel. As I recall, it is quite a dark […]

Fistful of Fillibuster: Director’s Chair Envy

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Adam Robert
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Thomas

March 10th, 2011

So then why is it that so often in games, the developers that make them decide to try and make movies instead? Playing through Fight Night Champion’s story mode, it was very apparent that the team involved wasn’t attempting to make the greatest narrative in a boxing game, but trying to make a boxing movie that just so happened to let you play through a few parts of it.

5 Questions with Choreographer David Herrera

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Geri
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Jeter

March 10th, 2011

I knew that for American Layercake it was imperative to find an assistant director who came strictly from the world of theater. I did not need another choreographer’s opinion in the studio; what I needed was a person whose eye and sensibilities were focused in theatricality, character development, story plot and arc, and in performance effectiveness.

Theatre Review: Frankenstein at the National Theatre, London

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Jem
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Bloomfield

March 8th, 2011

There are some terrific “There’s something in the sack!” or “What’s that climbing down the wall?” moments, and Danny Boyle really knows how to deploy a flash of lightning. Steering clear of too much mad-scientist “It livessss!” stuff allows him to direct this part of the show with the kind of punch which movie-goers will remember from his film Shallow Grave.

Video Game Review: Fight Night Champion

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Adam Robert
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Thomas

March 7th, 2011

At the end of the day Fight Night Champion, when it works, proves to be a great experience. The addition of a story brings heart and soul to a genre where these elements are often the most lacking, and hopefully other sports and fighting games will see this as an invitation to surpass rather than ignore.

Movie Review: Rango

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Julia
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Rhodes

March 5th, 2011

Every scale on Rango’s chartreuse face, every strand of fur on the tiny desert pigs, each downy feather on a turkey’s visage, is lovingly rendered. Perhaps most remarkable is the detail in the creatures’ eyes. Verbinski consulted with Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins, and as a result the animation is brilliant—were it not for the, you know, talking animals, you’d think the desert landscapes were real. And thank the Hollywood heavens Verbinski didn’t see the need to make Rango in 3D—it’s pretty perfect as is.

Theater Review: Good People Starring Frances McDormand

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Andi
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Stover

March 3rd, 2011

McDormand ‘s stellar performance captures the complexity of her character by combining swift comic timing with nuanced moments of strained vulnerability. One moment during the second scene, she fixes her stare outside a dingy kitchen window to piercingly convey a rising desperation within. With honesty and clarity, Lindsay-Abaire and McDormand come together to create a compelling portrait that doesn’t beg for pity, but commands respect and serious contemplation.

A Watchful Eye On… Winston Churchill

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Dan
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Fields

March 2nd, 2011

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, known best as the wartime Prime Minister, held in his distinguished career a number of other high positions, including Home Secretary and First Lord of the Admiralty. Renowned as an orator and statesman, he enjoys a permanent place in Western history. The adventure and controversy pervading his professional life seem ripe for an enterprising screenwriter to pick.

Art Review: Gauguin: Maker of Myth, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

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Ed
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Voves

March 2nd, 2011

“You know that I have Indian blood, Inca blood in me, and it’s reflected in everything I do,” he wrote in 1889 to Theo van Gogh, brother to Vincent. “It’s the basis of my personality; I try to confront rotten civilization with something more natural, based on primitivism…”

Dance Review: San Francisco Ballet Offers Theme and Variations, Winter Dreams and TRIO

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Geri
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Jeter

March 1st, 2011

Theme and Variations is a textbook ballet, showcasing the best of Balanchine’s Russian past while offering an indication of the direction classical dance would take in the second half of the 20th century. Whether by homage or imitation, as in the many symphonic ballets in countries created around the world, or in works that rage against the format, as in much of the work created by William Forsythe and his disciples, Theme and Variations remains the standard.

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